SOMETHING BLUE, AUTOMOTIVE

I always thought that Franklin was a 7″ kind of band. Looking back on the recorded output we produced over the 8 years we were together, the 7″‘s we released always seem to sound the best to me.


Back cover.

After we recorded the IMPACT demo, Allan Klinger offered us the chance to put out a 7″ on his small upstart label, Slug Sounds. I believe at the time he had only released one 7″ by his own band, but no one else was bashing down our door to release music so we jumped at the opportunity. We did make fun of the name and logo of the record label mercilessly, however. Nonetheless, two months after recording that demo, we were off to record our first 7″ in March of 1993.

At the time, I was going to school just outside of Baltimore and so we decided to record at a studio called Hound Sound. Located in a really shitty area of Baltimore, the studio was engineered by a fella named Tony French. He played bass in a band called Candymachine and we were big fans, so recording with him made a lot of sense. Besides, the Candymachine recordings we had heard that had been produced at Hound Sound sounded about a trillion times more professional than anything we could conjure up. It’s not the greatest recording. The guitars sound a little unnatural but overall, there’s a swing to it that feels right. Fortunately, we were able to get Stavroula down to the recording sessions as well to do background vocals on Radio Flyer. We recorded six songs in total during the sessions that made up the recordings for this first 7″. This would be the first of many recordings we made in Baltimore.

The packaging for the 7″ was handled pretty exclusively by Roy with universal support by the band. Working diligently at local Kinko’s, we put together a package that we were all proud of and that would reproduce easily and accurately. It can’t be stressed enough that, prior to the proliferation of computers, putting together packaging for any release was a rite of passage for any band. Stolen kinko’s cards, glue sticks and exacto knives were the tools of the trade. Sadly, it’s probably a lost art form these days.

We titled the 7″, Something Blue, Automotive which came from something I had written in a letter to Roy (as I recall). It meant nothing but sounded kinda cool. I believe only 1000 copies were ever produced. Perhaps less, but I still think it holds up. It’s got some electricity in it that one always wants to hear in anything they record.

Dreams About Driving

Friday

Radio Flyer

RANDOM CHILDREN PLAY WITH FUGAZI – 3/2/91


In 1991, Random Children seemed to be doing pretty well. Of course, doing anything at all was success in and of itself. We were probably playing one show per month and it seemed, that people liked the fact that there were some new bands playing around Philadelphia. Looking back, I have to assume that they were happy to see anyone doing anything since it couldn’t have been our music they were into because frankly, we weren’t that good. However, there are moments during the brief history of that band that make me think, “Hmmm, maybe we weren’t that bad”.

I remember Ralph calling me at home one evening late in January 1991. I was hanging out in my room listening to records and Ralph seemed particularly excited. He explained to me that Random Children had been asked to play a WKDU show at Drexel University with Fugazi.

Now, there are very few moments in my life that I can look back and say, without hesitation, that I almost peed my pants in excitement but this was one of those moments. Being 16 years old and having the opportunity to play a show with (what was then) our most favorite of favorite bands was like…jesus, I don’t know how one could even describe it.

Needless to say, we were excited. The show happened at the Creese Student Center and all I seem to remember is stepping out onto stage and being completely amazed by the number of people who were about to watch our mediocre band. It looked like a sea of heads sans bodies and was definitely more people than I had ever seen at a show. Of course, looking back now, it was probably about 1000 people, less than a sold out show at the Church or Starlight Ballroom, but still…it looked incredible.

I don’t remember much of playing the show because I think I was to in awe of the experience. Here we were…playing our very own songs…punk songs that we wrote about our limited experiences growing up thus far…in front of a sea of people…opening up for Fugazi…a band that we considered to represent everything we believed music could and should be.

Here are some photos from the show. Sadly, I don’t recall who took them.

I also had to throw in this, “official” flier for the show. Look at what was possible with 1991 computer technology!

Here’s a YouTube clip of Fugazi from that show. Sadly, I couldn’t locate any Random Children footage although, I know it does occasionally still play late at night on Drexel’s television station which is kind of funny.

During the set, I stood just over Ian’s amp filming the show with my parents VHS recorder…that’s my arm leaning against the wall at random times. That camera was damn heavy. Now ask me where that video I shot is located…

DEEP CUTS! THE LOST BOYS


I’m having way too much fun listening to these old recordings. Jeff Vaders sent another great one from the same night as the Fracture original line up live recording. Here we have TJ on guitar and singing, Jeremy Rocket on bass and Fernando Polanco on drums in a band called, The Lost Boys. I seem to remember TJ really liking that movie when it came out so it makes sense that he might have used the name for a band.

TJ and Jeremy are in the photo at the top of this post. Of course, so are Chris, Atom and myself.

Anyways, this song is called Drug Bust and while again, I have no memory of these guys playing anywhere other than this basement show, it’s kind of a rad song for some high school kids.

Drug Bust

FRACTURE LIVE – 12/31/91

Man, it’s hard enough trying to remember the who, what and where of any basement recording. Mix that confusion in with young kids in their first bands with lineups that would change monthly and you’ve got a recipe for incorrect facts.

Nonetheless, Jeff Vaders sent me this awesome recording of one of the first incarnations of Fracture playing on New Years Eve in his parents basement. While the recordings themselves might not be of the highest caliber, the sentiment certainly is.

The very first band I ever played in was called The Tazmanians (amazing recordings and photos to come!). We had just finished 8th grade and were listening to the Sex Pistols and The Clash pretty much non-stop. However, we had a pretty small group of friends and we weren’t aware of any other kids playing punk music. That is, until a friend of ours, Jeff Vaders introduced us to his band called VILE. They practiced in Jeff’s garage and I still remember walking down from TJ’s house to meet the rest of the guys in the band. It was Jeff singing, Jeb Bell on bass, Dan Goldberg playing guitar and Jeb’s brother Rob playing drums. They were a year younger than us but it was pretty awesome to have another band playing punk music. VILE would only last a short spell and would evolve into a band called Up In Arms. At some point, Up In Arms broke up (by this time Rob had left the band and Fernando was playing drums instead) and Jeb and Jeff started a band called Fracture.

The original line-up of Fracture was Jeff Vaders sharing singing duties with Chris O’Neill, Jeremy Rocket playing guitar, Jeb Bell playing bass and Rob Bell playing drums. While this line-up would not last long either (in fact, Jeff ended up leaving and a fella named Tim Schwartz took up the reigns of the “co-singer” for a spell) Fracture would go on to have quite a good run from 1991 until 1995 putting out some really awesome records.

This recording is of the original line-up playing a couple originals and a few covers. Jeff remembers it was an odd night filled with awesome High School drama, but listening in 19 years later, it sounds like it was a pretty fun night for a bunch of High School kids.

Everything
I Don’t Wanna Hear It
Minds
temp6 8
Warriors

PUBLIC DESCENT – DEPRESSANT

Sometimes, it’s really difficult to remember the twists and turns of history. Now, try to remember the twists and turns of history of a band that you weren’t even in and it becomes REALLY difficult.

Today’s post is all about a band called Public Descent. When I first started asking for contributions to be included on this blog, Jeff Vaders (a fella a lot of us grew up with) was one of the first individuals to contact me. He sent me random recordings that he had and several of them are already up on the previous posts. Jeff had been in Fracture at the very beginning of the band but shortly left and started Public Descent. A very different kind of band.

We’ll have more details about that sorted affair in the future, but for now, let’s just listen to this recording. Atom sent this MP3 to me this morning proclaiming it as one of his favorite Public Descent songs. It originally appeared on a 7″ compilation. Sorry, I don’t have the cover. Maybe someone can scan it in for me and send it over.

As far as we can tell, this recording is Dan Goldberg on guitar and vocals, Fernando Polanco on drums, Jeff Vaders on bass and back up vocals and Jeremy Rocket on guitar.

Depressant